Spotlight on: Artemis.

Artemis is the Greek goddess of the moon and the wilderness. She’s a fierce protector of women and animals, is associated with childbirth, and is known for her stories shared with her twin brother, Apollo. There are two things you need to know about Artemis: she will not be insulted as a woman, and she will not stand for the mistreatment of animals. So let’s dive into this inspirational lunar goddess!

Artemis is the daughter of Leto, a titaness, and Zeus (one of his many affairs). If you know anything about Hera, you know she’s going to have a hand in this tale! If you don’t, all you need to know is that Hera is married to Zeus, and she’s the reason we have the saying hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

Leto fell pregnant, and was exiled from Olympus. Hera threatened anyone who tried to help Leto or give her shelter, forcing her to wander the world pregnant and alone. Eventually Zeus summoned a great wind that picked up Leto and landed her on the floating island of Delos. Leto went into labour, and Artemis was born. Over the next couple of days Artemis was able to step into the role of midwife and help her mother deliver her Apollo. This is where her association with childbirth stems from (I mean, days old and helping her mother deliver a baby? She can own that association!).

Being forced to grow up in exile, Artemis and Apollo’s bond with their mother was strong. They lived to avenge her and help her take back her rightful place among the gods. Artemis and Apollo grew at an alarming rate, fully formed within months and able to wield their weapons with great skill. This came in handy, because not only was Leto forced to wander the earth without aid, but she also had a dragon tasked to hunt her down as she did so. Apollo was sure to take care of that as soon as he was able.

The Huntress

Artemis was rarely seen without her sacred bow and arrow, and it was common for anyone who used this weapon (whether it was for hunting or skill) to honour her. She was the huntress; the embodiment of the balance of nature. Her role as a protector of nature ensured that hunting was done with respect and care, preventing overhunting and preserving animal populations.

For the ancient Greeks, hunting was not just a sport but a sacred activity that required skill, respect, and reverence for the animals and the natural world. Artemis ensured that hunters adhered to these principles. Hunting under her protection was seen as an honourable pursuit that acknowledged the sanctity of wildlife.

Artemis embodied the untamed wilderness, where the hunter and the hunted coexist. Her dual roles mirrored the complexities of nature, where both predation and protection are necessary for balance. 

Her sacred animals were the deer, the stag, and the bear.

The Protectress

One of the things I love most about Artemis is that she will royally mess up anyone who degrades, mistreats, or insults women. Even if they attempt to. 

She comes with tales of pervy-men watching her bathe, only to be turned into a meal for their own hunting dogs. She took on two giants trying to storm Olympus to take the women for themselves… which ended in the giants misfiring their weapons and shooting each other because Artemis darted between them in the form of a deer. 

She is an inspiring symbol of protection for women. If Hera is hell hath no fury… Artemis is mess around and find out – and BOY did they find out!

The Virgin Goddess

Artemis is a virgin goddess, known for her commitment to chastity. Of course, this didn’t stop the men-folk from trying, but despite many suitors none succeeded in winning her hand. The closest anyone came was Orion, a hunter and her dear friend. Some stories say love blossomed, others say it was simply a deep and authentic connection. However, this connection ended tragically when Apollo, jealous of their bond, tricked Artemis into killing Orion. Devastated by his death, she asked Zeus to immortalise Orion among the stars as a constellation.

Artemis’s virginity symbolised her independence and fierce autonomy. She refused to be tied down by marriage or domestic responsibilities, focusing instead on her role as a huntress and protector, giving herself only to the wild.

Invocation to Artemis

Artemis! The Great Huntress! 

She of the wild, the untamed, and the fierce.

I call on you to unite me with my inner wilderness, to connect me with my free spirit.

I ask that you protect me as I wander this world, from predators who take what is not theirs to take, from hunters who hunt what is not theirs to hunt. I ask that you unleash the wild within me so that I can forge my own path as a woman, as a protectress of others and myself. 

Artemis, hear me now! 

As you delve into the power and essence of Artemis, remember that her story (like all of our goddesses) is more than myth – it’s a call to embrace your own strength, autonomy, and connection to nature. With Artemis as your guide, you can channel her fierce protectiveness, her respect for the natural world, and her unwavering independence.

Working with Artemis isn’t just about invoking her name; it’s about embodying her spirit. Let her teach you to stand firm in your convictions, to defend what is just and sacred, and to pursue your goals with unrelenting determination. When you invoke Artemis, you’re calling on a force that demands respect and inspires action.

So, light your candles, recite your invocation, and feel her presence empower you. Let Artemis awaken the huntress within you, guiding you to protect, to nurture, and to fiercely love yourself and the world around you. Together, we can channel her energy to create a world that honours and uplifts the feminine, champions equality, and reveres the wild.

Jade is a shadow worker and lunar witch, an experienced witchcraft facilitator, and hosts the 8-week High Priestess course: Dedicant.